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5 Key Habits of Great Leaders

Great leaders take action to be more effective in their leadership roles and build trust with their team

By | | Dr. Samantha Madhosingh

A great leader isn’t a great leader because they run their own company or department. Nor are they great because they excelled in their industry early on in their career or employed a team that fulfills all the needs of the business. All of that helps, of course, but those things just make someone a leader. What is it that makes them great?

Effective leadership is the difference between a mediocre leader and a great one. Not only that, but strong leadership creates a strong workforce — research shows one of the most common reasons employees in the US are unhappy in their jobs is due to negative management. They feel less stressed and under pressure when they’re able to engage with leaders well.

John Quincy Adams, the sixth US President, said, “When your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a true leader.” And Theodore M. Hesburgh, the President of the University of Notre Dame, said the very essence of leadership is “that you have to have a vision – you can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”

Many habits distinguish average leaders from great ones; here are five of the most common. 

1. They work to improve their emotional intelligence

Forget IQ – it’s all about high EI when it comes to strong leadership. This refers to emotional intelligence, which is the ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others. People then use this to manage their behavior and communication.

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